Twitter the Most Dangerous Network?

    September 22, 2009
    Chris Crum

Crowd Science revealed some interesting findings from a survey on Twitter use today. It would appear that Twitter is the most used social network by drivers. I’m not sure if that’s the kind of endorsement Twitter wants (the most dangerous network), but its short-form texting-like format caters to the mobile user.

"Twitter is more of a mobile media phenomenon than other social networks, so these results, while a little disturbing, are perhaps not so surprising," noted John Martin, CEO of Crowd Science. "And even though checking updates outpaces tweeting by almost two to one, the bottom line is that either type of activity takes a driver’s attention away from the road."

According to Crowd Science, about 11% of Twitter users admitted to accessing social media while driving in the preceding 30 days, compared to only 5% of other social media users. 29% of Twitter users said they had accessed social media from cars at some point in the past, compared with 13% of non-users.

Crowd Science Data on Twitter Use

Additional Findings from the survey:

– twice as many Twitter users as non-Twitter social media users (8% to 4%) had accessed any social media from a theater during a movie or live performance (during the preceding 30 days).

– During the same period, 17% of Twitter users vs. 12% of non-Twitter social media users had accessed social media from a washroom or toilet.

– nearly three times as many Twitter users as other social media users have accessed social media from restaurants (31% vs. 12%).

– 40% of Twitter users access the service via mobile at least sometimes (compared with 32% for Facebook users, for example), and 8% use mobile all the time (vs. 3% for Facebook).

– 41% of Twitter users prefer to contact friends via social media rather than telephone, compared with 25% of non-Twitter social media users, and 11% (vs. only 6% of those not using Twitter) actually prefer social media over face-to-face contacts.

– 14% of Twitter users said they have revealed things about themselves in social media that they wouldn’t under any other circumstances. Then again, 8% admitted to "frequently stretching" the truth about themselves online.

– More than twice as many males than females (32% to 15%) access Twitter primarily through a third-party application.

– 43% of Twitter users employ a third-party application at least some of the time, and 26% as their main mode of access.

– Twitter users tend to be older than non-Twitter social media users (54% over 30 years old, vs. 42%), twice as likely to be self-employed or entrepreneurs (18% vs. 9%) and to be planning to start a business during the next six months, and more tech-savvy (24% vs. 15% "buy gadgets/devices when they first come out," 48% vs.

– 30% have created a website, and nearly four of ten (37%) currently maintain a blog, twice as many as non-Twitter social media users).

The study was conducted among over 600,000 visitors to multiple websites within Crowd Science’s open research network. The survey targeted social media users age 12 and up, and was conducted August 5-13, 2009. They have another study on MySpace on the way.